Fall 2019 Timetable

This is a draft timetable (subject to change).

GGR1105HMA Geography Core CourseSarah Wakefield/Jun ZhangWednesdays, 10am-1pmSS5017AGGR MA Only
GGR1110HPhD Geography Core CourseRon BuliungThursdays, 12-3pmSS5017AGGR PhD Only
GGR1200HPhysical Geography Core CourseDanny Harvey/Yuhong HeFridays, 12-3pmSS5016GPhysical Geography MSc and PhD Only
GGR1217HThe Climate of the ArcticLaura BrownTuesdays, 1:00-3:00pmNE2266 (UTM)
GGR1408HCarbon Free EnergyDanny HarveyWednesdays, 5-8pmSTG TBD
GGR1916HRemote Sensing of Vegetation Traits and FunctionJane LiuThursdays, 10am-12pmSTG TBD
JGE1425HLivelihood, Poverty & DevelopmentChristian AbizaidTuesdays, 12-2pmSS5016G
JPG1400HAdvanced Quantitative MethodsMichael WidenerThursdays, 9am-12pmSS561Geog/Plan programs priority
JPG1426HNatural Resources, Differences & ConflictSharlene MollettThursdays, 10am-12pmSS5016G
JPG1511HThe Commons: Geography, Planning, PoliticsSue RuddickWednesdays, 4-6pmSS5017A
JPG1516HDeclining CitiesJason HackworthFridays, 12-2pmSS5017A
JPG1518HSustainability & CommunitiesSusannah BunceTuesdays, 10am-12pmSS5017A
JPG1525HUrban, Regional and Community Economic DevelopmentJason SpicerMondays, 10am-12pmSS5016G
JPG1617HOrganization of Economics & CitiesJohn MironTuesdays, 10am-12pmSS5016G
JPG1809HSpaces of WorkMichelle BuckleyMondays, 10am-1pmSS5017A
JPG1906HGeographic Information SystemsDon BoyesMondays, 1-3pm (lecture) and 3-5pm (labs)SS5017A (lecture), SS561 (labs)GGR/PL Programs Priority
JPG2150HSpecial Topics: The Geography & Planning of Climate Action and Action and ActivismSue RuddickMondays, 4-6pmSS5016G
JPG1812YPlanning for ChangeTBDFridays, 9am-12pmSS5017AGGR/PL Programs Priority, Instructor Approval Required
EES1119HQuantitative Environmental AnalysisGeorge ArhonditsisThursdays, 10am-1pmBV471 (UTSC)
EES1128HBiophysical Interactions in Managed EnvironmentsMarney IsaacWednesdays, 12-2pmEV502 (UTSC)
ENV1103HThe U of T Campus as a Living Lab of SustainabilityJohn RobinsonTuesdays, 2-4pmENV TBD

GGR1105H – MA Geography Core Course
The course will feature discussion of a number of issues pertaining to what life is like as an academic and some of the related skills and experiences that go along with it (e.g., the tenure process, journal peer review processes, tips on how to publish journal articles, research collaboration, conference presentations, teaching, the academic job market, relationship between academia and the wider world, public intellectualism, theoretical versus applied work, etc.). In addition, it will include engagement with non-academic career trajectories, including how skills and experiences from graduate school can contribute to (or hinder?) success in policy deliberations, activism, government and non-profit work, etc. It will also encompass an overview of non-profit work, major debates in the field, and of theory and explanation in geography. The course incorporates a workshop on proposal writing or research statement element for MA students.The main difference between GGR 1105H and GGR 1110H is in the reading load but also the contrast in specific goals. Specifically, GGR 1110H emphasizes critical reading and thinking drawing on contemporary texts by or relevant to geographers, discussion of readings and the role of theory and evidence in explanation, and perhaps also paying explicit attention to different writing styles. GGR 1105H is more of a wide ranging course but with some emphasis on practical survival tips for academic and related spheres of life.

GGR1110H – PhD Geography Core Course
How do geographers go about addressing the challenges and problems of the world? How does the wider context (social, institutional, environmental….geographical!) shape the kinds of issues geographers examine, how these issues are framed, and how they are addressed? How do broad intellectual currents influence the work that is done in geography (and vice versa), and how do we understand the relationships between the broad intellectual currents and the “world out there”? Consistent with current emphasis in critical geography, all geographers, whether explicit or not, are using both theory and so politics in their work, along with some implicit or explicit problem statement in framing what they look at and what are they trying to explain. Even the choice of phenomena to examine is a political choice. Thinking carefully about these issues helps to understand the relationship between scholarship (geographical or otherwise) and the “real world”, while at the same time facilitating reflexive and careful consideration of research topics and approaches. This is, in our view, preferable to relying uncritically on policy or academic discourses and their prevailing theories, debates, questions, and approaches.

GGR1200H – Physical Geography Core Course
How do geographers go about addressing the challenges and problems of the world? How does the wider context (social, institutional, environmental….geographical!) shape the kinds of issues geographers examine, how these issues are framed, and how they are addressed? How do broad intellectual currents influence the work that is done in geography (and vice versa), and how do we understand the relationships between the broad intellectual currents and the “world out there”? Consistent with current emphasis in critical geography, all geographers, whether explicit or not, are using both theory and so politics in their work, along with some implicit or explicit problem statement in framing what they look at and what are they trying to explain. Even the choice of phenomena to examine is a political choice. Thinking carefully about these issues helps to understand the relationship between scholarship (geographical or otherwise) and the “real world”, while at the same time facilitating reflexive and careful consideration of research topics and approaches. This is, in our view, preferable to relying uncritically on policy or academic discourses and their prevailing theories, debates, questions, and approaches.

GGR1217H – The Climate of the Arctic
High latitude environments are becoming the focus of increasing scientific attention because of their role in global environmental change. The implications of changes occurring to the sea ice and snow cover are far reaching and can have impacts on physical, biological and human systems both within and beyond the region. This course will provide a comprehensive examination of climates of high latitudes. Topics that will be covered include the Arctic energy budget and atmospheric circulation, the hydrologic cycle in the Arctic, the ocean-sea ice-climate interactions and feedbacks, modelling the Arctic climate system as well as an evaluation of recent climate variability and trends. Exclusion: GGR484H (UTM).

GGR1408H Carbon Free Energy
The course examines the options available for providing energy from carbon-free energy sources: solar, wind, biomass, hydro, oceanic, and geothermal energy, as well as through sequestration of carbon from fossil fuel sources. The hydrogen economy is also discussed. For each carbon-free energy source, the physical principles, physical or biophysical limits, efficiencies, and other constraining factors are discussed, as well as examples of current applications, current and projected future costs, and possible future scenarios. The course concludes by combining the main conclusions for JPG 1407H concerning the prospects for reducing energy demand through improved energy efficiency, with the conclusions drawn in this course concerning the feasibility of large-scale carbon-free energy, to generate scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions, showing the range of possible consequences for global mean temperature, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. Exclusion: GGR1406H; GGR348H

GGR1916H – Remote Sensing of Vegetation Traits and Function
This course is offered in conjunction with GGR414H Advanced Remote Sensing. Building on GGR337H1 Environmental Remote Sensing (also offered as a graduate course GGR1911H), which covers the basic theories and techniques of optical and microwave remote sensing of the land surface, GGR1916H introduces advanced theories and techniques for land cover mapping, retrieval of vegetation structural and physiological traits, and remote sensing of vegetation light use efficiency and photosynthetic capacity. Diagnostic ecosystem models will also be introduced for terrestrial water and carbon cycle estimation using remote sensing data. Optical instruments for measuring vegetation structural parameters in the field will be demonstrated, and high-resolution remote sensing images acquired from a drone system will be used as part of the teaching material and lab assignments. For GGR1916H additional lectures will be offered on basic radiative transfer theories as applied to remote sensing of vegetation traits and function. Exclusion: GGR414H

JGE1425H – Livelihood, Poverty & Development
The livelihoods of the rural (and in some cases the urban) poor in the developing world are closely connected to the environment. Hundreds of millions of people, including many indigenous and other traditional peoples, rely directly upon natural resources, at least in part, for their subsistence and often, also, for market income. For many of them, access to such resources is a matter of survival-of life or death, a way of life, or the hope for a better future for them or for their children. Although the livelihoods of these peoples are sometimes regarded as having a negative impact on the environment, more recently, many of them are being heralded as models for biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource. A better understanding of how the rural (and urban) poor make a living -their livelihoods- is considered key to addressing issues of poverty and sustainable resource use, and also for environmental change mitigation and adaptation. This course seeks to develop an understanding of livelihoods among the poor in developing countries, with a focus on how assets, social relations and institutions shape livelihood opportunities in the present and into the future. More broadly, attention will be paid to the ways in which livelihoods are connected to the environment, but also to economic and political processes, with an eye to gain insight on their potential for poverty alleviation, sustainable resource use, and environmental change mitigation/adaptation. The course will also explore emerging areas of inquiry in livelihoods research.

JPG1400H – Advanced Quantitative Methods
Spatial Analysis consists of set of techniques used for statistical modeling and problem solving in Geography. As such, it plays an integral role in the detection of spatial processes and the identification of their causal factors. It is therefore a key component in one’s preparation for applied or theoretical quantitative work in GIScience, Geography, and other cognate disciplines. Space, of course, is treated explicitly in spatial analytical techniques, and the goal of many methods is to quantify the substantive impact of location and proximity on human and environmental processes in space.

JPG1426H – Natural Resources, Differences & Conflict
This course is concerned with the ways in which natural resource policies governing use, access, and control of resources are imbued with and reproduce conflict. Through a variety of case studies and theoretical engagements (feminist, postcolonial, anti-racist, Marxist, post-humanist), this course examines how natural resource conflicts are shaped by multiple kinds of power. In this course we discuss how such contests are more than political economic struggles. Through attention to the entanglements of environment, difference and struggle, a core aim of this seminar is to interrogate what is given and taken-for-granted within dominant narratives, instruments and institutions shaping land and territorial demarcation, water access and distribution, livelihood (in)security, oil and mineral extraction, biodiversity conservation, and struggles over urban citizenship. While this course looks to make visible how states and elites shape space through natural resource control, simultaneously, it attends to how people and their communities work to defend and remake their lives and livelihoods in the face of displacement and dispossession. JPG1426H Course Syllabus Fall 2019

JPG1511H – The Commons: Geography, Planning, Politics
Over the past two decades, “the commons” has increasingly become the subject of contestation in planning practices and conceptual framings. Approaches have alternately emphasized the need to privatization; regulation and collective management of public goods; to the commons as a co-production. Once thought to pertain exclusively to the purview of environmental planning and management of resources through common property regimes, discussions about the commons now inform a wide range of planning practices. Taken up equally by organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as a supplement to structural adjustment policies on the one hand, and the World Social Forum as a challenge to accumulation by dispossession, privatization and deregulation on the other, the idea of “commons”, “commoning” and the “commonwealth” frame discussions over the organization and control of collective resources now expanding well beyond historical origins in rural areas and their enclosure to a wide range of diverse practices in urban regions. Debates about the regulation – or destruction — of the commons extend from management of farmland, conservation of wilderness and water to planning of libraries, public urban spaces and intellectual property. The readings will first focus on a conceptual table setting across a spectrum of divergent frameworks from mainstream through critical political economy, anti-racist and indigenous scholarship. In the second section, we will explore normative assumptions including questions of property/territory; construction of subjectivity; ethical framings and regulatory practices. Finally, we will conclude with an exploration of examples of commoning in practice, from historical origins in feudal practices of commoning through conservation to emerging discourses on the urban commons.

JPG1516H – Declining Cities
Much of planning and urban thought more generally is implicitly or explicitly oriented around the idea of growth—growth allows cities to be managerial, gives them room for error, salves intra-constituency squabbles, etc. In the face of decline, the most common planning or urban theoretical response is to engage in economic development (that is, to reignite growth). But what about those cities (or sections of otherwise growing cities) that have declined in population or resources and remained healthy, pleasant, places to live? Can we learn something from their experience that allows us to rethink the way that cities decline, or what the professional response to it should be? What about those cities, conversely which retain an infrastructure footprint that was intended for a much larger city? Can they be downsized in a planned way? If so, what would such an effort (mobilizing the state to sponsor planned decline) mean for the bulk of urban theory that suggests that it is the state’s role to reignite growth? JPG1516H Course Syllabus Fall 2019

JPG1518H – Sustainability & Communities
This course focuses on sustainability and communities and neighbourhoods in cities in North America and Europe, with some exploration of examples of community-based sustainability in cities in the global south. The intention of this course is to examine academic and policy discussion on urban sustainability and the contemporary context and future of urban communities, and will address socio-political dimensions of urban sustainability found in human geography and urban planning literatures, rather than focusing on physical or technical applications of sustainability principles.

JPG1525H – Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development
This course surveys urban, regional, and community economic development theories and planning practices, with a focus on North America in comparative perspective. Coverage includes orthodox and neoclassical theories from economic geography, urban economics, and political science/sociology, which provide the rationale for people-centric, place-based, and institutionally-oriented economic development plans and policies. Heterodox and community-oriented alternatives are also examined. Using real-life cases, we review cluster strategies, enterprise zones/districts, labour and capital  relocation incentives, regional and anchor institution strategies, workforce development systems, community benefit agreements, living wage policies, local hiring/procurement preferences, and community/cooperative ownership models.

JPG1617H – Organization of Economies & Cities
This is a course about the urban economy. The emphasis is on understanding how agency (initiative) leads political actors in a state to make possible the conditions that give rise to an urban economy. I review and re-interpret fundamental models that explain how the operation of markets in equilibrium shapes the scale and organization of the commercial city in a mixed market economy within a liberal state. The course reviews classic models of the urban economy that are based on the work of Alonso, DiPasquale & Wheaton, Getz, Herbert & Stevens, Hurd, Lowry, Mills, Muth, Ripper & Varaiya, and Schlager, among others. The antecedents to these models can be traced back to the work of Andrews, Beckmann, Christaller, Clark, Cooley, Haig, Leontief, Polanyi, Power, Reilly, Thünen, Samuelson, and Tiebout. These models assume appurtenant property, contract, and civil rights. As befits the liberal state, such models also presume that individuals and firms are purposeful and have autonomy in these markets. These models raise questions about how and when does governance enable and facilitate markets, autonomy, and the urban economy in this way. Overall, the perspective of this course is that it is helpful to see governance (and hence the urban economy) as outcomes negotiated by political actors motivated by competing notions of commonwealth and aggrandizement.

JPG1809H – Spaces of Work
This course will introduce students to Marxist, feminist, anticolonial and intersectional perspectives on ‘work’ in the twenty-first century. A key intention of this course is to prompt students to examine what forms of work – and also whose work – has been taken into account in geographical scholarship and to explore a number of prominent debates concerning labour, work and employment within geography over the last three decades. In doing so we will engage with foundational political economy texts on the relations of labour under capitalism, and texts within geography and sociology on work, labour, place and space. We will also examine a number of broad economic and cultural shifts in the nature of contemporary work and employment such as de-industrialization, the feminization of labour markets and service sector work, neoliberalization and the rise of the ‘precariat’. At the same time, students will be prompted to consider critiques of some of these ‘transformational’ narratives to probe the colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist continuities shaping the contours of contemporary work. In this sense this is not an exhaustive course on labour and work in geography, but rather a series of discrete introductions to key scholarly arguments about work, often followed by a range of responses to those arguments in the following week. The course will touch on a broad range of topics, including unfree labour, labour organizing, precarious employment and social reproductive work which are tied together by four overarching themes that run through the course – value, identity, agency and justice. Overall this course aims to give students the chance to explore not only how work has been conceptualized and studied in geography, but how it could be.

JPG1906H – Geographic Information Systems
This course provides an intensive introduction to fundamental geographic information system (GIS) theory, as well as practical, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software. The course is designed to accommodate students from a variety of research backgrounds, and with no previous GIS experience. The goal is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of spatial data and analysis concepts, and to introduce the practical tools needed to create and manage spatial data, perform spatial analysis, and communicate results including (but not limited to) the form of a well-designed map. Assignments require the use of the ArcInfo version of ESRI’s ArcGIS software and extensions, and are designed to encourage proper research design, independent analysis, and problem solving. By the end of the course, successful students should be able to apply what they have learned to their own research, to learn new functions on their own, and have the necessary preparation to continue in more advanced GIS courses should they wish to do so. Classes consist of a two hour lecture each week, which integrate live software demonstrations to illustrate the linkages between theory and practice.

JPG2150H – Special Topics: The Geography & Planning of Climate Action and Activism
This course will explore the efficacy of a selection of parliamentary and ex-parliamentary actions around climate change that are relevant to the Canadian context. Each week the course will include discussions of the literature and ½ to 1 hour talks by guest speakers involved in climate action. Course literature will be organized around scholarship in geography and planning that engages conceptual framings of social movements and pragmatic tools for organizing, but where needed will draw on scholarship from cognate disciplines.

JPG1812Y – Planning for Change
Planning for Change is a year-long course (Y) comprised of seminars, readings, films, discussion, writing, reflection and the completion of a major project designed by and for a community organization. Students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth, reflective experience in the field of community development. The course is based on successful models of service-learning courses at other institutions. Service learning, as a pedagogical practice, aims to unite what often appear to be divisive realms of theory and practice by providing analytical tools to connect academic and community development work. Service-learning aims to create an educational space where work is done for community organizations with students based on the self-identified needs of the community. Students are challenged to reflect on the work they are doing and the context in which service is provided. Planning/Geography education and service-learning are in many ways an ideal partnership. A service-learning course in the graduate program at the University of Toronto opens a way for students to gain hands-on experience in the field of community development.

EES1119H – Quantitative Environmental Analysis
This course provides an introduction to the field of ecological statistics. Students will become familiar with several methods of statistical analysis of categorical and multivariate environmental data. The course will provide a comprehensive presentation of the methods: analysis of variance, regression analysis, structural equation modeling, ordination (principal component & factor analysis) and classification (cluster & discriminant analysis) methods, and basic concepts of Bayesian analysis. Emphasis will be placed on how these methods can be used to identify significant cause-effect relationships, detect spatiotemporal trends, and assist environment management by elucidating ecological patterns (e.g., classification of aquatic ecosystems based on their trophic status, assessment of climate variability signature on ecological time series, landscape analysis). The course will consist of 2 hr-lectures/tutorials where the students will be introduced to the basic concepts of the statistical methods and 2-hr lab exercises where the students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in statistical analysis of environmental data. Enrollment in this course is managed by the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences.

EES1128H – Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
This course will focus on biophysical interactions at the advanced level, incorporating specialized concepts on plant-soil relationships, biogeochemical cycles, and ecosystem functioning in managed forests and agriculture. Students will be provided the opportunity to engage with course topics in seminar, field and laboratory format. Sampling and analytical techniques covered are in-situ soil and leaf-level gas exchange analysis, soil sampling, preparation and elemental analysis, and quantification of plant metrics. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the complexities and dynamics in managed environments, specifically ecosystem structure and function, soil fluxes including decomposition and mineralization processes, plant growth and nutrition, and production-diversity relationships. Enrollment in this course is managed by the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences.

ENV1103H – The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability
Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Such living lab approaches offer a large potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking briefly at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners. Enrollment in this course is managed by the School for the Environment.

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